The Texas Rangers announced today the club's minor league award winners for May. Right-hander Alec Asher was named Pitcher of the Month, outfielder Teodoro Martinez was named Player of the Month, Brett Nicholas was named Defender of the Month, and left-hander Alexander Claudio was named Reliever of the Month.
Asher, 21, was 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA (9 ER/35.0 IP) and 39 strikeouts against 9 walks, while holding opposing Carolina League batters to a .226 average (30-133) over 6 games/starts with High-A Myrtle Beach. The Florida native ranked among the CL leaders in strikeouts (2nd) and ERA (6th) during the month. His strikeout total was also tied for 16th among all minor league players in May. Overall, Asher has gone 4-4 with a 3.23 ERA (23 ER/64.0 IP) and 64 strikeouts against 20 walks in 13 games/12 starts this season. Asher ranks among the CL leaders in WHIP (8th, 1.22), strikeouts (10th, 64), and ERA (10th, 3.23). Asher was selected in the 4th round of the 2012 June draft out of Polk State (FL) College and signed by Cliff Terracuso.
Martinez, 21, batted .322 (29-90) with 10 runs, 10 walks, 2 doubles, 5 home runs, and 17 RBI over 26 games with Double-A Frisco in the month of May. Martinez reached base safely in 22 of 26 games, hitting safely in 19 contests. The Venezuela native hit 4 home runs in an 8 game stretch from May 10-18, including a 2-run home run game on May 15 vs. Midland. Overall, Martinez is batting .272 (49-180) with 7 home runs and 25 RBI in 50 games with the RoughRiders this season. Martinez was signed as an undrafted free agent July 2, 2008.
Nicholas, 24, started 24 games at first base and 3 games behind the plate for Double-A Frisco in the month of May. The Missouri product did commit an error at first base, while committing just one at catcher. He also threw out 2 of 5 (40.0%) would-be base stealers. At first base, Nicholas is fielding .998 (1 E/492 TC) in 56 games overall this season. At the plate, Nicholas is batting .311 (73-235) with 38 runs, 15 doubles, a triple, 13 home runs, and 44 RBI over 64 games with the RoughRiders. The Phoenix native ranks among the Texas League leaders in batting (4th), RBI (T4th), runs (5th, 38), home runs (5th), and doubles (T8th). Nicholas was selected in the 6th round of the 2010 draft and signed by Dustin Smith.
Claudio, 21, did not allow an earned run over 16.2 innings of work in May, while registering 7 saves for Low-A Hickory. The southpaw limited opposing South Atlantic League batters to a .161 average (9-56) and recorded 21 strikeouts against just one walk. Overall, the Puerto Rico native has gone 3-1 with a 1.22 ERA (6 ER/44.1 IP) and 11 saves over 23 relief appearances with the Crawdads. He has converted 11 of 15 save chances overall for the division-leading Crawdads, tied for 3rd in the SAL. Claudio was selected in the 27th round of the 2010 June draft out of Isabel Flores High School in Puerto Rico and signed by Frankie Thon.